Guest interview #7
Hi what is your name and how old are you?
Lewis Anderson and I'm 23
Tell us a little about yourself, what do you do, why have you started to skateboard and how long have you been skating?
I started skating when I was 10 years old when a mobile skate park came to my primary school. Since then I skated every day in school and I kept it up as i got older (although I definitely do not skate everyday now)
To me skating has always been about fun which is why I get frustrated when some people take it too seriously. Whenever I notice myself getting frustrated with a trick I always ask myself 'why did you start skating?' or why do 'you want to skate?' and my answer is always because it's fun so I go back to something else I can do and leave the learning for another time.
In 2018 I started my skate coaching business Two-Toed skateboards with the aim to expose skating to more people and bring the fun of skating into other peoples lives.
How does it feel to do something as cool as skateboarding?
Skating is so cool and don't I know it! It feels great to skate. Its something different. Unfortunately skating still has a bit of a stigma to some members of the public. If they can't appreciate how cool skating is, then it's their loss.
How do your friends and family think about it? About you starting a crazy pastime at this stage of your life?
In school I had my friend group who all skated and we skated together all the time. Friends were always supportive but now I'm older a lot of them don't skate anymore so there are less people to skate with but you find you make friends with a lot skaters you see about at the skatepark anyway.
My family were always supportive because I think they saw what it brought out in me. I remember my dad always having to ask me what deck or trucks I wanted for my birthday because he didn't know enough about skating. Its great that they always were happy to try and provide me with what I needed to skate, like a new pair of shoes every 2 or 3 months! Now I'm older I have to buy them myself so I understand the struggle!
Have you had any injuries since you started? And if so has it deterred you from skateboarding in anyway?
The only main injuries I've had from skating is lots and lots of rolled ankles! Whenever I hurt my ankle I can't skate for maybe 2 weeks or so so it is frustrating.
Other than that I had hip problems as a child which did mean that I had to almost give up skating for 2 years when I had an operation. I always used to enjoy going big on big stairsets and ledges but now I have to tame it down so had to change my skating style a lot. There is always a way!
How has skating changed you as a person?
Skating brings so many good things out in me. It's something great to focus on considering you can't 'beat' or Complete skating. Everyone has different styles and tricks they are better at or prefer. It enables you to express yourself in a different way.
I also think skating makes a less judgemental person. When I go to the skatepark it doesn't matter if someone is young or old, what gender they are or if they're poor or rich. At the skatepark everyone is there for the same reason and that's to skate. It gives everyone a communal focus so none of the other stuff matters. It's all about what you can do in a board. I like that and I see it in others when I teach groups. They focus on the skating.
What do you think about skateboarding being in the olympics now?
I've heard some skaters moan about skating in the Olympics as it will change things or that it's not a sport.
Skating isn't in the limelight enough for those who aren't already involved in skate culture. Why wouldn't we want more skaters?
I think we all had a skater which inspired us and a platform like the Olympics is a perfect way to highlight to people who are completely new to skating, 'Yeh this is a thing, and you could do it too!'
What’s your opinion on the girls skate scene now?
The number of girls in skating is slowly increasing but in my opinion it still isn't enough.
There are plenty of girls skate groups spread in the UK but they are mostly in cities. In ipswich where I am based there isn't enough girls so I'm actually trying to host girls only skate sessions to try increase this.
Where do you see yourself in the skate scene in 10 years time?
Id Like to think Two-Toed Skateboards would have grown. Still be teaching and getting more people Involved in skating. I'd love to be able to say I was the one who started girls skate groups, LGBTQ skate groups and maybe my own park one day, who knows? Watch this space! ;)
What advice would you give anyone just starting out, either young or old, to help them keep skating?
Do it as soon as you can! If you're confident enough to try on your own then go ahead. If not maybe see if a friend would like to learn with you?
Like I say in my next question if you don't have the confidence to start on your own then get in contact with Tic Tac skate school or Two-Toed Skateboards. We'll support you in what your goals with skating are. Skate schools are here for this purpose so what's holding you back?
Do you think A skate School is a good way of learning? And coaching is needed in skateboarding now?
Its a sad thing to have to say but sometimes groups of skaters can be a bit clique'y and look down on beginners.
It can come accross like 'we're better than you, so we won't talk to you' or not act so supportive to others just because they are at a different skill level. With this being in my opinion one of the worst things about skating, a skate school solves this problem.
When learning either in a group of starters or with a coach then there is no judgement.
In the words of a great drag queen cheddar gorgeous 'When you feel like you don't have confidence, what you really need is permission to have that confidence.' I think it applies Having a coach at hand to provide that support is a great way to start learning and build confidence skating.
Any final words you would like everyone to know about how you feel about skateboarding?
Skating is the best thing in my life! Skateboarding is for everyone! Give it a go as soon as today.